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The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)

The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)

Joined on May 25, 2008

Last Post on April 14, 2014

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@ December 26, 2012 9:57 PM in Looking for Peerless SC-8 or SC-9 boilers

These are also referred to as wetbase boilers.  The combustion chamber is completely surrounded by water, except the burner end. 
I work closely with the local Peerless rep and they are some of the best steam people in the country.  But they don't have any, and never stock any, and the factory takes 3 to 4 weeks or more.

Looking for Peerless SC-8 or SC-9 boilers

@ December 26, 2012 7:03 PM in Looking for Peerless SC-8 or SC-9 boilers

Seems there are no wetback type boilers stocked in Chicago except some Weil Mc Lain.  All they sell is atmospheric gas.
I have been able to locate some Burnham V905's in Wisconsin, but no Peerless SC-8 or 9s.
Anybody out there have any?  I have been told 3 to 4 week wait  and I maybe be needing them soon ( I will need 2 if the customer goes this way).

boiler sizing chart

@ December 23, 2012 12:10 AM in Should we not replace the boiler?

there appears to be something ommitted in the sizing chart.....It does not add in the pick up factor for steam.   This is usually 1.33 times the installed radiation.   In other words for steam, the BTU output needs to be 1.33 times the heat output of the radiators, if sizing to conventional standards. 

I'm in Chicago,

@ December 22, 2012 4:44 PM in Trouble in Glencoe

Have the Client give me a call.  I would certainly get rid of that aquastat on the return.  That's backwards, the heat is already on when that pipe finally gets hot, so the system is already working improperly at that point.  The vacuum pump should be on well before the boiler fires. 

Don'thave one....

@ December 21, 2012 11:20 PM in thoughts on 1 vs 2 boilers

yet.  They are on the edge and maybe the orifices will do the trick to get the condensate back faster.

They are replacements for those....

@ December 21, 2012 8:35 PM in Honeywell concentric radiator valve

one of the European makes   Danfoss,  Macon.....makes a single entry hot water valve.

I forgot to add

@ December 21, 2012 8:29 PM in thoughts on 1 vs 2 boilers

the Midco' are ;linkage less, so they should be easier to set up.

Another burner

@ December 21, 2012 7:54 PM in thoughts on 1 vs 2 boilers

Midco RE4400DS  HTD (High Turn down),  400,000 to 20,0000....20 to 1 downturn.

For a bigger boiler  Midco RE6110B HTD  1,100,000 to 40,000  ..27.5 to 1 downturn.
 3 or 4 to 1 downturn is probably all you need, unless you are running mulitple zones or TRV's

There is not much more efficient than steam...

@ December 20, 2012 11:15 AM in Should we not replace the boiler?

when it has been restored to proper functioning.  If all or most of your system piping is in place and hasn't been hacked,  a new steam boiler is a very good choice, along with the standard tweaks and piping corrections near the boiler.    I have 8,000 to 10,000 sq ft homes with no insulation with bills that top out at only $700.00 midwinter with steam heat in Chicago.  All steam heating systems can be converted to room by room control.  One pipe steam is especially easy...about 10 minutes a radiator.
A properly functioning steam heating system should use about 20% less gas and 98% less electricity than a typical new forced air system ( Department of Energy has done testing, as have other independent agencies). If you go hot water, you will gain some gas efficiency with condensing boilers but electrical use will be way higher and so will ongoing repairs and likely much shorter life.   A properly maintained steam boiler should last 30 years, well maintained units 40 to 50 years.  That life equals  2 to 3 high efficiency boilers and 5 to 6 furnaces.   Also, with forced air, room by room zoning becomes challenging.


@ December 19, 2012 9:11 PM in thoughts on 1 vs 2 boilers

The large header and return piping act as equalizers between the boilers, just like between the sections of the Mills boilers.  Slant Fin has been doing them this way since the 1960's I understand.  When new with dirty water , the waterlines can get a bit wild, but after some cleaning they settle down.    I am not sure I would want to try more than 2 this way, since getting them absolutely level with each other would be a challenge.

Yes, I've done a couple.....

@ December 19, 2012 9:03 PM in thoughts on 1 vs 2 boilers

they are a pain to tune in, but do work.  I'm itching for the midco for a couple of uses a variable speed ECM blower with a negative pressure gas valve 4- to 20MA input for speed control, just like all the HW modcons, only bigger.  Also, it sounds like it has a very high radiant output, so I be the efficiency in wetbase boilers will be exceptional. The current burner lengths available fit very nicely with the Peerless models.


@ December 19, 2012 10:03 AM in thoughts on 1 vs 2 boilers

The two stage thermostat controls a simple 2 zone hydronic pump relay panel with each relay firing one boiler.  The boilers have on/off Heatwise Burners( Heatwise was a casualty of our bad economy).  The second boiler almost never fires, as can be expected.   The boilers capacity was matched to the heat loss of the home, not the installed EDR.  This makes the need for Orifice plates part of the bargain.  It really doesn't make sense to use two stage pressure controls with this set up, as the only thing that matters is the temperature at the stat.  If you install TRV's on all the radieators, then a pressure control would make sense (probably in addition to the stat), because the load on the boilers may drop and you may end with two boilers firng when only one is needed.
A big advantage of using the power burners over the atmospheric is not only the higher thermal efficiency, but the stand by losses of an off, but steam hot boiler are lower than with atmospheric.  Unless you install motorized valves on the supply and return of the second stage boiler, it will act as a condensor for the primary boiler and be kept hot all season.  This is a big difference from hot water,where flow through an off boiler can be stopped just by P/S piping.   I've done a few mulitple atmospherics and with stack dampers the boiler rooms are roasting from all the heat fromthe second stage boilers dumping into the boiler room.
I have laid out and priced the cost to do 2 atmospherics staged with zone valves, etc.  It gets pretty pricey.  In addition, after doing some efficiency analysis with atmospherics, it appears its a bad idea to split the heat loss (not radiation load) into two equally size boilers.   You're better off using a 60 to 65 /40 split so the second boiler only fires in very severe weather.    This is probably why the traditional split was 50/50 but included the 33% to 50% pick up factor.  Esentially you ended up with a 65/65 split, when looking at heat loss.

2gph burners would be about 280,000 input, I was only at 200,000 input, so the TR-40 are fine.  Also, the TR-40's use only one riser, greatly simplifying the pipng.

Here's what Vaporvac is thinking

@ December 18, 2012 9:08 PM in thoughts on 1 vs 2 boilers

These two TR-40 , 200,000 input boilers heat over 70 radiators in a 10,000 sq ft 1930's home with no insulation.  All windows are leaded glass with no storms.  Highest winter bill is about $700.00 here in Chicago.   Control is a simple two stage thermostat.  It been running a couple winters now, but the system is awaitng orifice plates to get the heating even.   The only problem we'rehaving is the water content is so low, that we may have to had a holding tank at the water line.  


@ December 18, 2012 6:20 PM in thoughts on 1 vs 2 boilers

Powerflame makes a 11 to 1 mod burner, max input of 400,000.  I believe Midco may make a smaller one just have to ask for it.

Quiet burners

@ December 18, 2012 5:07 PM in thoughts on 1 vs 2 boilers

The quietest out there is the Midco LNB1000.  The smallest is the 500,000 input with 4 to 1 modulation.  Not much louder than a louder atmospheric and the intake air can be ducted in to really quiet it down.   These burners have no burner roar.....mainly all you hear is the blower.  Midco didn't intend for this burner to be used in boilers, but they look great.  I hope to have one in soon.....Steamhead is working to put one in too.


@ December 18, 2012 1:08 PM in Need Install manual for HBSmith 18-10 steam


I think it does

@ December 17, 2012 10:16 PM in American Standard G60-8

If its the boiler I'm thinking of (had one in my old house) with atmospheric burners, that would be 240,000 input (30,000 btu input per section).  They were quite efficient.....about the same as most atmospherics today.

Need Install manual for HBSmith 18-10 steam

@ December 17, 2012 9:09 PM in Need Install manual for HBSmith 18-10 steam

Need to price a repipe and downfiring of one of these. 989,000 input boiler in a 6 flat....a big six flat, but not that big.  Can't find anything on them at this time.

I'd stear clear of Wayne

@ December 17, 2012 9:07 PM in Wayne vs. Riello or maybe Midco?

I have been very unimpressed with them. Others will agree, I believe.  have had good luck with midco.  Carlin EZ gas is a favorite for many in the intrepid and others.


@ December 11, 2012 6:41 PM in New Boiler at the Best Mansion

at least the chimney is getting a steam cleaning!

No offence ever taken.....

@ December 10, 2012 5:59 PM in One-Pipe Steam-TRV or Better boiler controls?

about a different opinion.  Different opinions is how we all can come up with something better than what was in the past.    Too bad so many in Washington haven't figured this out!


@ December 10, 2012 10:28 AM in One-Pipe Steam-TRV or Better boiler controls?

If the whole building is overheating, then the existing control just needs to be adjusted down.  If that doesn't work then a new control is in order.

However, not putting in TRV's will still keep the building 30 years behind the worldwide comfrot and efficiency curve.  TRV's in every room in every structure has been required for a long, long time in most countries.  Properly installed and properly designed TRV's will cut the fuel usage and increase comfort.  Just think about it this way, lots of people have separate temperature controls for each side of thier car....then why shouldn't we have separate temperature controls for each room in our homes?
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